Visa & Passport
Visa requirements, basic information
|Steps to get a visa|
E-mail a travel agency a booking application, in which you should specify the period you are going to stay (and which hotel will be booked for you / your group). In this application note the names of tourists, their dates of birth, and their passport numbers.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela. In case of any change, consult the up-to-date list of visa-exempt countries.
Belarusian visas at Minsk National Airport (MSQ) are issued to nationals of countries with no consular offices of the Republic of Belarus for €90. However, the prices for citizens of countries with a Belarusian consulate are rather high - €180 when they apply at MSQ Airport on arrival. Standard documents like a letter of invitation have to be provided, too - a hotel booking is not enough, at least for a tourist visa, but not other entry points. See the visa price-list in English.
For the nationals of other countries (Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Estonia, Egypt, France, Hungary, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Republic of South Africa, Slovak Republic, Montenegro, Switzerland, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA), visas may be issued upon arrival on an exceptional basis only. However, this option will be unavailable to people with Belarusian embassies in their countries starting from 1 Sep 2012, except if the reason for entry is urgent such as illness or death of family.
You can apply for a visa from a Belarusian Consulate or Embassy. Quick visa is more expensive, but you will get it within half a day.
Visa fees and processing change so make sure that you check with the local embassy or consulate before you plan your travel. A visa will take a full page of your passport so make sure you have at least one page free.
Visa fees are generally as follows:
- transit (B) visa - USD35 (for US citizens: USD160, regardless of the number of entries; for UK citizens: GBP55)
- short-stay (C) visa - USD75 (for US citizens: USD160 for single entry, USD190 for multiple-entry; for UK citizens: GBP75)
Japanese and Serbian passport holders are exempted from visa fees.
There is now a trend to spare the transit tourists from a need to apply for a transit visa at MSQ Airport. There is no document with guidelines available to public, but if you come from a migration secure country and travel with Belavia via Minsk to the third destination it is highly unlikely that you will need a transit visa. Always check with the Minsk Airport Consulate.
There is no possibility to get a Belarusian entry visa on the border, except for the Minsk National Airport.
Latest prices and procedures are available from the Embassy Sites. Pre-issued visas save a lot of time on entry.
Belarusian visa is issued in 5 working days, there is also a possibility to get it urgently in 48 hours by paying double fee.
Normal fee for Belarusian private or business single visa can vary from USD40 to USD80. Visas for children under 16 are issued free of charge, visa processing fee can be levied in this case by certain Belarusian embassies or consulates.
In order to get a visa you will also need a passport and an invitation, other papers depending on the type of visa you apply for. There is a compulsory state medical insurance for visitors to Belarus if you do have a policy valid in Belarus. The fee for this insurance is USD0.50 per day rounded up to the nearest USD (i.e. 1–2 days: USD1; 3–4 days: USD2; etc.). The citizens of the UK are the only nation exempt from this procedure. Even if your medical insurance is valid in Belarus, it is common for customs control to insist you purchase insurance at the airport. This can be purchased just before you go through customs, so it is important you carry a few euros on you.
To get a Belarusian business visa a foreigner has to present an invitation of any Belarusian legal entity officially registered in the Republic of Belarus. The invitation is to be written on letterhead paper and should contain name, personal and passport details as well as purpose and duration of visit. The invitation is to be signed and bear official seal of the inviting organization. Embassies or consulates (with the exception of Consular office at the National airport) can often accept invitations received by fax. Multiple business visa is obtainable against payment of USD300 from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consular department upon presentation of all required documents (contact phone + 375 17 222 26 61).
To get a short-term visa for private purposes (visiting Belarusian relatives, friends, other private matters) with a validity of 30 days, maximum for 1-, 2- or multiple entries for citizens of the EU as well as nationals of several other countries, such as Australia, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Norway, Swiss Confederation, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Uruguay, Republic of South Africa and Japan, no visa support documents shall be required (letter of invitation etc. documents). Short term visas are available from Minsk airport, consulates and embassies.
To get a visa for private purposes a foreigner who is planning to stay in the country for more than 30 days has to present the invitation issued for a Belarusian resident by his citizenship and migration office. The original invitation should be handed over to the embassy/consulate or Consular office at the National airport in this case, any fax or photocopy is excluded. Multiple private visa is issued upon presentation of the original invitation to foreigners, visiting their close relatives. Very often Belarusian consulates grant private visas to the nationals of migration secure countries without any invitation papers.
Visas can be valid for one, two, three or multiple entries. They are to be used within the period indicated therein.
Foreigners visiting Belarus must register within a period of 5 business days with local Migration and Citizenship Department and have registration put in their migration card. If you are staying in a hotel, this will be arranged by the hotel.
If needed, private or business visas can be extended up to 90 days when staying in Belarus. It will be done by Minsk city citizenship and migration office (contact phone + 375 17 231-3809) or Regional citizenship and migration office in Hrodna, Brest, Minsk, Mahilyou, Homel upon presentation of all the required documents.
Exit permits required for all foreigners intending to leave the country with expired visas. They are issued by Minsk city passport and visa office or Regional passport and visa offices in Hrodna, Brest, Minsk, Mogilev, Homel.
Some agencies provide letters of invitation, apartments, airport transfers etc. Any good search engine should provide links. Avoid belarusrent.com as there have reports of them taking money through PayPal then not providing the services but refusing refunds.
Entry from Lithuania
It is only in the Consulate in Vilnius that you can submit your documents applying directly for a visa to Belarus. They issue all visas on the same. If it is urgent you can pay twice as much, get the visa on the same day and it is valid from tomorrow, if not, you pay a normal fee, still collect it on the same day, but travel only within one week.
It is likely that the visa regime will become somewhat softer for EU citizens in the near future [www]. First attempts for visa free travelling are made in the Polish and Lithuanian border areas where people (who reside there permanently) will be able to travel visa free in the 50 km (31 mi) border area.
Visa free access to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
Since 2015, it is possible to visit the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park in western Belarus for up to three days without having to apply for a full visa. To do this, you should "book tourism services" in advance and fill in a form whereafter a simplified visa is sent to you by e-mail. Bring a printout of the visa and a passport and enter the park from Poland through the Pererov-Belovezha border checkpoint.